What storage conditions are required for chocolate?
Always keep chocolate away from moisture and excessive heat: these are the two factors that destroy chocolate more rapidly than all others. Also, chocolate should be stored in a cool, dark place, away from strong odours that can taint its flavour, at a constant temperature between 12 and 20°C. Always ensure that the packaging used to store chocolate is properly closed.
What is the shelf life of chocolate?
Because chocolate contains virtually no moisture, it has very low water activity level, and is not prone to bacterial spoilage during storage, resulting in a long shelf life. The factor limiting shelf life for chocolate is rancidity: the breakdown of fats than can create “off” flavours. Although cocoa butter is relatively resistant to rancidity, chocolate should be stored protected from exposure to oxygen, light, heat, and moisture (humidity), and when working with chocolate, do not expose it to reactive metals such as copper and iron. All these factors shorten the potential shelf life by increasing the likelihood of the onset of rancidity. When stored under ideal conditions, dark chocolates have a shelf life of approximately 12 months, while milk and white chocolates have a shelf life of approximately 6 months. These are the maximum times suggested for storing chocolate. The artisan confectioner is well advised to turn over his chocolate inventory much more rapidly to ensure the highest-quality products with the freshest flavour. Please see our leaflet in Recipes and Tips, Use and Handling of Chocolate.
What is tempering chocolate?
The purpose of tempering chocolate is to pre-crystallise the cocoa butter in the chocolate, which is related to the working temperature of the chocolate. During tempering, the cocoa butter in the chocolate changes into a stable crystalline form.
How do I temper chocolate?
The easiest way is by adding chocolate, which has already been tempered, to the melted chocolate. Any of the chocolate chips sold on our website may used for this because they have already been tempered. In other words, they are already in the required crystalline form. Please see our leaflet in Recipes and Tips, Tempering Chocolate for detailed information.